Since 2007, the Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend Award has given some of Hobart and William Smith’s finest students the opportunity to pursue their academic passions abroad. This year, the 2009 winners of the award are Seher Syed ’10, who will travel to Bangladesh; Regina Triplett ’10, who will visit Geneva, Switzerland; and Adam Croglia ’10, who will travel to Vietnam.
During her time in Bangladesh, Syed — an economics and international relations double major – will intern at Grameen Bank, an institution founded by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. In addition to having the opportunity to meet Yunus, she will complete a project focused on microfinance at Grameen Bank, which provides small loans known as microcredit to individuals in impoverished communities removing the need for collateral.
“My interest in microfinance developed when I interned at Kashf Foundation, which is a microfinance institution in Pakistan,” explained Syed. “I was truly surprised at how small loans can have such a significant impact on the lives of poor people, especially women. As Kashf is inspired by the success of Grameen Bank, I really wanted to go to Bangladesh and see for myself how Grameen operates.”
Centered in Dhaka, Syed will assist the bank with training programs offered to potential replications of the Grameen model throughout Asia. Additionally, she will conduct exit client studies for Grameen within key areas of Bangladesh in order to determine client needs toward retention efforts. She will visit Comila and Sylhet , which are homes to families working in tea gardens and other agricultural settings as well as Chittagong, the second-largest city and main seaport of Bangladesh.
A few thousand miles away, Triplett – a biology and cognition, logic & language double major — will intern at The Geneva Neuroscience Center at University of Geneva in Switzerland. There, she will serve as a member of the Patrik Vuilleumier, Ph.D. research group in the Behavioral Neurology and Imaging of Cognition Laboratory. Triplett will assist with neurological research using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, fMRI, a new and noninvasive brain-mapping technology that uses elevated blood-oxygen levels to pinpoint specific regions in the brain that are activated during certain tasks.
“I’m excited to expand my perspective as a student, a scientist, a linguist and a global citizen,” Triplett said. “I am so grateful for an opportunity that has allowed me to combine all of these into one awesome experience.”
Specifically, Triplett and the research team will use fMRI to investigate activity in the amygdale, a brain region involved in responding to emotional stimuli. Additionally, Regina will shadow the medical professionals in the neurology department of the hospital who are providing care to patients with epilepsy, dementia and other neurological disorders. To visit her blog, click here.
In yet another location, Croglia will intern at the Institute of International Education in Vietnam. A political science and comparative ethics studies double major, Croglia will be an integral member of the Institute of International Education (IIE), a multi-national not- for- profit organization founded in 1919 to promote peace and understanding through cultural exchange.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, his primary role will include advising Vietnamese students on all aspects of attending universities in the United States, coordinate college fairs and give presentations on applying to U.S. universities, participate in intra-city outreach travel to speak about American culture and education, develop advertising campaigns for American English Adventure Sessions and assist in organizing public events for the U.S. Consulate General focusing on education in the United States.
The Salisbury Stipend, now in its third year, is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges’ history. Created by Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, a former chairman of the HWS Board of Trustees, the fund provides financial support of up to $15,000 each for three students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice. By supplementing classroom education with internship experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.
“This is a global world and we’re a global institution,” said Salisbury. “I got my overseas experience in a blue U.S. Air Force uniform, but things are different now. We need to look beyond our 50 states and outward into the world.”